Basic question: running out with 1 space jump

The idea of running out with 1 space jumps is something we see all over the place.

What am having trouble coming to grips with is how people make it work for them?

Generally, a 1 space jump seems cuttable - you plonk a stone between, they atari, you extend, they protect one of the cuts and you cut the other.

So how it is useful to “run to safety” with 1 space jumps?

What basic thing am I missing here?


I can think of 3 reasons.

If the opponent protect a cut with a connection, those three stones are thick. He can then extend out the one stone.

And then he can choose which cut point to expose (4 choices).

At last, you also end up with 2 new groups. This is often true with cutting: you create new groups of your own as you cut your opponent (who’s cutting who?).

Of course, when you have a very thick position, the warikomi (with nothing much around other than the two enemy stones) might work as a method of cutting.

Edit: if the opponent is escaping from your moyo, getting the last stone while making the rest of his group strong might not actually be worth it. By attacking his whole group you might gain more. For example, some times you want to peep the jump, forcing him to connect, and reduce eye space at the same time.


Two things come to mind;

  1. Cutting may be less profitable than building either side or generally playing elsewhere. If you’re already running away then it’s not always advantageous to start a fight. A good example is poking at the cut point. You don’t cut but you get a forcing move, probably gaining territory and robbing your opponent of eye space. Why cut when you can do that?
  2. The cutting stone will likely be weaker than the stones it’s cutting. This means that whilst the cut may work for a few moves, the cutting stone is likely to be captured or otherwise need saving, putting that player on the defensive.

Of course, if you build around someone first then maybe these things stop being relevant. Then you can cut!



It’s interesting that it really is a fine judgement thing, and also that “running out” is not such a safe thing.

I have had the opposite impression, looking at pincer joseki, and also Dwyrin videos. In each of these cases, I see stones running out in 1 space jumps with barely a mention. Dwyrin might say “OK, I need to run out here now”. Without mentioning that if the opponent cuts that jump then the stones that were trying to run out might be dead!

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But let’s remember; if the cutting stone is weak the stones aren’t dead - not yet!


This works like the lizard tail. When you are in your opponent’s zone of influence, be ready to abandon some of your stones in return for a speedy escape. Sure, your opponent might capture the isolated stone, but the price will be higher than the gain.

An example is the jump variation in 3-3 shoulder hit joseki.

The same idea applies to other shapes, like keima or ogeima.

The tobi also works as an attacking move, but in a different way. In this case, your surroundings are strong, and your opponent’s cutting stone would be under severe attack.


What that does seem to mean is that running out with 1 space jumps for a group-in-trouble is not a good way to go. It’s fine for some light stones that were reducing/invading, but if your tail is actually your head it’s not so good :slight_smile:

I’m glad to have flushed out that nuance!

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If it’s the case, then you probably protected the wrong cut :wink:


No, no, no … when this is the case, the problem is the group needs to get out! :slight_smile: There is no “wrong or right cut” to protect!

So it is very helpful for this beginner to know that “running out by 1 space jumps” isn’t the tool in that scenario! :slight_smile:



Any invasion should be able to either have room for a base or room to run. If you NEED to run because you know you can’t make a base, it means your opponent has played moves specifically to take away your base. If this is the case, he is likely not in a strong position to try and cut you directly and one point jumps are often a good balance between speed and security while running.


You would have to show us an example. It seems to me that you are too attached to your stones and are trying to save everything! Sometimes the tail is bigger than one stone.

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Here’s the basic thing you’re missing. Others have partially said it, but I’ll try sum it all up here.

If your opponent tries to cut your one space jump, he or she is giving you all the following resources:

  1. You can atari the cutting stone as you describe, and you can choose which side to atari from.
  2. You can then choose which cut to protect and how to protect it.
  3. Finally, if your opponent tries the unprotected cut, you can atari that cutting stone, or otherwise try to capture or chase it.

The idea is that, given all this power (and it is a LOT of power) you can almost certainly find a way to continue running out with your group, just in a new direction, or find some other way for it to live. Maybe the forcing stones you play can help you make two eyes after all. Or maybe they can help you counterattack your opponent’s stones. The trick is not to get locked into a given path as the only route to life.

Of course, sometimes, your opponent will be so strong in the local area that none of these resources will lead to any alternate paths, so it is true that one space jumps aren’t absolutely effective, but they are much stronger than you’re thinking right now.


Excellent summary @azver

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Sometimes running with single skips alternated with diagonal moves is good for preparing to make eyes and live, if the running may fail due to lack of space or lack of a nearby strong group. Do others agree?

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Sensei’s library actually has some rather useful examples for this discussion. I started at the article on the one-point jump:

Common in running fights, the one-point jump moves out quickly (see getting ahead with a one-point jump), but is potentially vulnerable to being cut depending on the surrounding position (see cutting the one-point jump).

The page on cutting the one-point jump is brief but was well worth it. It led me to the rather dense page called don’t try to cut the one-point jump:

The cut may work, but often the damage to your own stones is bigger than to the opponents’.

This included a discussion about how cutting the one-point jump will leave you with two separate cutting stones both of which are vulnerable to attack. I’d recommend checking it out in more detail but, really, the page was summed up nicely by one of the users:

thanatos13: the proverb should be “only try to cut the one point jump when you are as strong as a Big Grizzly Bear on both sides.”

I was trying to incorporate @david265’s question into this post by suggesting that the one-point jump could lend itself to an eventual table-shape but I got a bit lost making anything tangible come together. That did, however, turn me towards the best example I found about this, which was the stretch as good shape page.

Check this out:

In this position, the cautious stretch (or, better, stand) of White 1 is the standard way for White to come out into the centre.

In the ideal world, we’d want to do a one-point jump to get out faster, but Black is strong either side and the original three-stones are already only tenuously connected.

White 1 here is a shape involving a dangerous chance for Black to cut, combining plays at a and b.

So the one-point jump is a great move and works in most situations where you have some space either side. That’s because if you have such space, you can likely capture your opponent’s stones should they try to cut. However, as the game progresses, keep an eye on your one-point jumps. If your opponent builds strength either side of your stones you may need to return and bolster your connection - and if your opponent is already strong then maybe it’s not the right choice in the first place.


Thanks everyone, very much.

This has been the perfect education that I’ve needed on this topic!

I wonder if @azver’s summary should be added somewhere at senseis?

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